Order of Malta Moment

December 14, 2012

Lourdes Endowment Campaign Announced

At the Board meeting and Founders Dinner on December 7, Federal Association president J. Paul McNamara announced the kickoff of the LOURDES ENDOWMENT CAMPAIGN. The goal of the campaign will be to raise $4 million dollars by 2017, which will supplement the existing fund amount of $1MM. The Lourdes Endowment Campaign will be used exclusively to assist in paying for the pilgrimage expenses of Malades and Companions who travel with our members to Lourdes each year.
Last year, the Lourdes Long Range Planning Task Force recommended that no malade or companion should ever have to pay to participate on the pilgrimage. They are coming as our guests and thus should not be asked to pay for the associated expenses. Presently, we ask malades and companions to pay $1800 per person, which is approximately ½ of the total cost of the trip. Over the next few years, the Development committee will work with our members in seeking long term donations to the Lourdes Endowment Fund. Between now and the completion of the Campaign, all our members and the Lourdes pilgrims will be asked to help to cover the expenses for the malades and Companions.

Florida Retreat

All members of the Federal Association, candidates and family members are invited to attend the annual Florida Retreat on January 25-27 at Marywood Retreat House outside Jacksonville, FL. Fr. Eric Hollas, OSB, Ph.D. will be the retreat director. Father is a professor of theology at St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN and is a chaplain of the Order's Western Association. The retreat begins on Friday evening and concludes after Mass on Sunday morning. The Marywood Retreat House sits on the shore of the St. John’s River just outside the Jacksonville city limits. Please click here for more details and to access our on-line registration form.

March for Life

Once again in 2013, Federal Association members will be given the chance to participate in the National March for Life in Washington, DC on January 25. All Knights, Dames, candidates, Auxiliary, family and friends are invited to our program that includes Mass at Immaculate Conception Church in Washington followed by a light lunch. Transportation will be provided for those who wish to participate in the march. Please click here to access the registration form.

Chicago Physician Provides Assistance to Lebanese Association

In September, Dr. Richard A. Feely, a Federal Association member from Chicago, traveled to Beirut, Lebanon at the request of Paul Saghbini, the Hospitaller of the Lebanese Association of the Order to inspect and provide advice on the management and medical operation of the Bhannes Center for children with Cerebral Palsy. The Daughters of Charity operate this facility with the support of the Lebanese Association. In this residential facility children with severe Cerebral Palsy between ages 6 to 16 live a in family like setting and receive 6 hours of intensive therapy 5 days per week. Therapy consists of physical, speech, ergo(occupational), and psychomotor ( motor planning/training) therapy, as well as sensory stimulation classes, computer and communication training, medical management and psychological support to the children and families. The facility prominently displays Order of Malta plaques, including one citing the Western Association donation of a wing of the building. Bhannes Center is located on an extensive campus that includes a two story rehabilitation hospital complete with large indoor and outdoor aqua therapy pools and a separate building housing an orthotist and brace fabricator. A 100 bed community hospital, church and convent are also located on this beautiful campus in the mountains of Lebanon. Dr Feely provided the necessary objective inspection and recommendations for improvement that was accepted and is now being acted upon to make the Bhannes Center an Internationally recognized treatment center for Children with severe disabilities like Cerebral Palsy. Dr. Sam Ciccarelli, Regional Hospitaller - Chicago

Pro Merito Melitensi Medals

On December 7, four officers of the Federal Association will receive these medals for their dedicated to the Order and Federal Association. In recognition for his service as a Director (2005-2011) and Vice President (2009-2012), Edward Festa received the Cross of Commander Pro Merito Melitensi. Also receiving the Cross of Commander Pro Merito Melitensi were Michele Burke Bowe (Hospitaller, 2009-2012), Robert Easby-Smith (Treasurer, 2005-2011), and Gregory Granitto (Chancellor – 2009 – present).

In November, the Order of Malta’s New Orleans Home Repair Program began its seventh year of rebuilding home damaged by Hurricane Katrina. A team of 18 volunteers (including the Vice President of the Canadian association) worked on storm-damaged homes in the Holy Cross, Gentilly, and Treme neighborhoods. On the last night the volunteers were invited to dinner at the home of Dr. Nicolas and Haydee Bazan (the Regional Hospitaller for New Orleans). Joining the volunteers were several members of the Federal Association from the New Orleans region. Robert Bruce, the executive chef of the Little Gem Saloon in New Orleans, tells the group what is on the evening’s menu. The Little Gem Saloon, long shuttered but now set to re-open this month, is said to be one of the very first places where jazz was played in the early 1900’s.

Annual Appeal Update

Since the Federal Association’s Annual Appeal launched last month, over 200 gifts have been received totaling just over $200,000. We are a long way from our goal of $850,000 with 100% member participation, so remember - Giving is just a Click away – here is our online payment page! Our Committees (Grants, Defense of the Faith) and our various Hospitaller projects supported by the Annual Appeal are grateful for any help they receive from us.

Upcoming Events:

Dec 15 - Wash DC - Volunteers are needed for the Auxiliary Christmas Party for St. Ann's Center for Children, Youth and Families (www.stanns.org). 4:00 – 6:00 PM. Contact Sheila Dougherty
Dec 15 - Wash DC - Celebrate Christmas with the Malta House family at 2pm; contact: Valencia Camp
Dec 22 - Syracuse - Pancake Breakfast at Assumption Parish Center. Volunteers arrive at 7:30AM. Contact: Pat Fallon
Jan 7 - Charlotte - Room at the Inn, service project for homeless men. Contact: Barbara Laughlin
Jan 11-13 - Memphis - Retreat at Our Lady Queen of Peace Retreat Center, Dancyville, TN. Contact: Robert Hutton
Jan 14 - Lancaster - Sanctity of Life Mass at 7:00 PM; St. John Neumann Church in Lancaster. Please click here.
Jan 20 - 25 - New Orleans - Order of Malta Home Repair Program - work week # 2. Please click here for details and sign-up sheet.
Jan 25 - Wash DC - National March for Life - 10:00 AM - Mass at Immaculate Conception Church, lunch, transportation to march. Please click here for information and sign-up.
Jan 25-27 - Florida Retreat - Marywood Retreat Center in Jacksonville. Please click here for more information and to access on-line registration form.
Feb 8 - 11 - Rome - Pilgrimage to Rome to commemorate 900 year anniversary of the signing of the Papal Bull that officially recognized the Order of Malta an order of the Catholic Church.
Feb 21 - Wash DC - Lenten Evening of Reflection - 6:30 PM - Mass at Church of the Annunciation followed by soup supper and reflection.